Dabbing for Flounders
Spirit of The Highlands Collection
Paul Taggart Masterworks
Oils on Gesso'd Wood Panel
Private Collector Ownership
Frame Size (outer) 51cm[w] x 27cm[h]
FRAME - Hand-made by Frinton https://www.frintonframes.co.ukFrames. 85mm wide frame tailored to the painting. Ribbed moulding surrounding Ivory Liner, hand coloured in Beige/Blue/Red with Light Grey Wash.
"Dabbing for flounders on the Dornoch Firth" a magical phrase which caught our imagination, when we read it for the first time in an interview with a public figure from years gone by. It is of such simple stuff that dreams are made and it caused us to begin our search for a new life in the Highlands of Scotland - it became an obsession of mine to capture that inspirational phrase in a painting.
A visit from a long-standing friend, a master etcher and keen fisherman, set the adventure in motion. We set off for an afternoon walk, along an inlet on the Dornoch Firth. Paddling through the cool waters, feeling the sand between our toes, sculpted by the outgoing tide into miniature waves; the Highland sky began to spill light in a way the locals accept, but at which newcomers marvel.
SUBJECT – Everything that excites me as possible subject to portray in a painting was to be found in this moment in time. Light, water and a figure. Hills, a sandy shore and a single fisherman can be transformed into an everlasting memory by that one moment of scintillating light from a cloud-filled sky.
Sunlight pouring dramatically from the sky demanded to be recorded.
COMPOSITION - A panoramic view was essential to capture the expanse of this landscape and the distant hills beyond, not to mention the essence of the unspoilt nature of the Highlands of Scotland. I kept the horizon relatively low so that the viewer’s attention is mainly concentrated on the sky and the effects of light. The placing of the figure was of utmost importance, it is, after all, the only vertical element in the composition and acts as a balance to all the horizontal lines. Keeping it to the bottom right creates a harmonious symmetry with the weight of the dark rocks and sand to the left - seen as a strong, dark silhouette against the sea.
METHOD & TECHNIQUE – Oil paint is the perfect medium for such a subject. The use of deep layers of glaze and tints helps to capture the depth of colour and radiant light needed to evoke the mood of the moment. Using oil paint allowed me to exploit the juxtaposition of opaque and transparent layers. This is most vividly expressed in the sky. Here, opaque grey mixes of paint overlay transparent oil glazes and subtly coloured tints, to suggest the beams of sunlight, In the water below, a series of opaque white impasto textures build in succession over glazes, to create the dazzling areas of light.
As always, we thank you for reading and watching, with best wishes from Eileen and myself,”
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